HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
HOW ONE COUNTY COUNCIL
IS EMBRACING FLEXIBLE SPACES.
Busy meeting schedules, flexible working patterns and roles that frequently take people out of the office can lead to desks that are often unoccupied, taking up valuable space that could be put to better use.
You might think the ‘too many desks’ conundrum is easily solved by installing some breakout spaces, hot desks and lockers for personal items, but you’d be underestimating just how attached we are to the culture of the desk. Desks and desk territory are often tied up with status and a sense of belonging, so changing the one-desk-per-person model isn’t as easy as you might think.
We decorate our desks with personal touches, store untold goodies in the drawers and feel outraged if someone steals ‘my chair’ or sits at ‘my desk’ without asking. Simply telling staff that they will no longer have their own desk isn’t going to cut it, you need to change the culture and bring your people along for the ride. You also need to create attractive spaces that work so well people are actually happier working and meeting there than they would be staying at their desk. Add to that the ability to move around during the day and the subsequent reduction in time spent sitting and it could be a winning formula.
Create an environment
where people can choose
how and where they work…
Challenging the status quo
One organisation rising to this challenge is Hertfordshire County Council (HCC). Accommodating the demands of flexible working meant its space needed to become more flexible to maintain efficiency, while meeting the needs of staff. In order to kick off the conversation around how to accommodate the changing demands of its workforce, HCC decided to install a trial space so staff could work in an environment designed for flexible working and see how it felt to take a different approach.
“We were looking to get the most out of our shared spaces and offer staff flexible meeting areas with good use of available space. Spaceoasis® was really well organised during the delivery and install process, the furniture looks fantastic and is very flexible and practical to use.”
HEAD OF PURCHASING AT HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Form follows function
The Smart Bar, at County Hall in Hertford, comprises a variety of furniture in a bold, modern colour scheme that creates an environment where people can choose how and where they work. Edge diner booths provide the perfect space for one-to-one meetings as well as a space to eat lunch. Okinawa pods are used for meetings and Prelude touchdowns provide a space to sit or stand while working at your laptop.